The disciples waited patiently. Shortly before he ascended to heaven Jesus told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5). So they waited.
For ten days they stayed in Jerusalem. They had no idea when this promise would be fulfilled. They did not even know how it would be fulfilled.
One morning, as they were gathered together in a room (not locked this time!), it happened. “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting…All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:2, 4). The disciples did not need to wait any longer. Jesus sent the gift of the Holy Spirit upon these men.
After the Holy Spirit came upon them, they went out among the crowds in Jerusalem. God has the perfect timing, as he always does, since thousands of Jews were in Jerusalem at this time. The Holy Spirit allowed the disciples to communicate the gospel with these people in their native language.
Do you wish you were there on that day of Pentecost? It must have been a sight to see the emboldened disciples preach. The crowds must have been speechless to hear these uneducated men speaking to them in their own language. Peter preached a powerful sermon. He closed it out by saying, “Repent and be baptized, ever one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39). The Holy Spirit worked through the gospel on that day. Three thousand people believed.
I wish I was there. How awesome to see the Holy Spirit bringing three thousand people to faith!
We might not have been there on the first Pentecost, but we see the very same results in our world. As a synod we take God’s Word out to the world. Currently the board for World Missions serves 80,000 people in 23 fields. The board for home missions will open six new missions, so God’s Word can be proclaimed in new areas of our country.
We can ask, “What does this have to do with me? I can’t speak other languages. I do not travel the world spreading God’s Word. How does the mission of Pentecost continue with me?” We have opportunities to spread God’s Word right where we are.
We can invite someone to church, Bible Class, and Vacation Bible School. We tell others about our school where God’s Word guides all classes. The Pentecost mission is very much alive.
For us it starts with one. It is that one soul God has placed in front of us to share his message of forgiveness. How awesome that God would use us! We can still see the Holy Spirit changing the heart of a person by his Holy Word.
Let us keep our eyes open for those opportunities to share God’s Word with others. The Pentecost mission continues. It is with us as missionaries for Jesus.
THANKS Special thanks go out to all people who in some way or another have contributed to the school during the past year. All of your help, whether it is volunteering time, talent, or financial support helps us to further the Kingdom of God by teaching the children about their Savior.
GRADUATION for the 8th Grade of our Christian Day School will take place at our special 10:30 A.M. Worship Service on May 31st. The Day School children completing their nine years of training will receive their diplomas.
- Jocelyn Apple
- Benjamin Kurth
- Bethani Reisetter
- Kyle Kossen
- Kevin Marquardt
- Johnathan Schuman
- Orion Krause
- Mariah Mortensen
- Anna Swenson
May our Savior bless you with His continued guidance and direction! May you continue to live to His glory and in His service.
SAVE LABELS, BOXTOPS, INKJET CARTRIDGES, GREETING CARDS
- Boxtops marked for Education
- Inkjet cartridges for our school
- Milk bottle caps or bags from Kwik Trip
- Piggly Wiggly Receipts
- Recheck’s Food Pride Our Family UPC (proof of purchase labels). Please cut off the proof of purchase bar code. The bar code # should key in with the 370253. Only Our Family Bar codes can be accepted.
- Used greeting cards for Bethesda
There are containers in the church basement for these items or bring them to the church office. Thanks for your help!
SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE Beginning June 7th, we will again switch to our summer worship schedule. On June 7th and continuing throughout the summer, we will have two services each Sunday, one at 7:30 A.M. and the other at 9:30 A.M. The mid-week service will continue on Thursday at 6:30 P.M. We return to 3 Sunday services on August 30th.
SUMMER SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE CLASS The summer worship schedule of two Sunday services gives us the opportunity for a Sunday morning Bible study between services. We will continue our past years’ custom of having a half-hour family Bible study, 8:45 – 9:15 A.M. in the church basement, beginning Sunday, June 7th. This summer we’ll be looking at the Messianic (Messiah) Psalms that clearly point to the saving work of Jesus the Messiah. We hope to make our discussions fit all generations, so bring the whole family. We also plan to continue the custom of the last couple years of having some light refreshments (donut holes, coffee, juice, water) during this time of spiritual feeding. See you there for an “additional dose” of spiritual nourishment!
ADULT BIBLE INFORMATION CLASS Your pastors will begin a summer adult course of instruction on Monday and Wednesdays at 11:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. in the church basement beginning Monday, June 8th. We will meet twice a week until about the end of July. Attendance at these classes and agreement with the teachings of God’s Word taught there, qualifies someone for membership in our church. If you know of anyone who would like to attend, please contact one of the pastors. Better yet, why not invite them and attend classes with them. Anyone is welcome to attend, including members of our congregation who would like to review the teachings of the Bible!
- June 4th – Topic by Pastors “Catechism: The Gospel and the Nature of God”
- June 25-28th – LWMS National Convention in Rapid City, SD
- August 4th – Pot-luck picnic – 6:00 P.M.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL VBS 2015 will be held July 27 – August 31 9:00 – 11:30 A.M. Daily Bible lessons and activities will center on the theme: “MAKING TRACKS” For more than twenty years now VBS has been used as a “tool” for reaching out into our community with God’s Word as well as a chance for our own children to stay in touch with the Word during the summer. Watch for opportunities for you to help with the outreach, such as taking fliers to summer events in which your children participate or by placing a sign in your front yard, or best of all – just use your own words to invite children to come hear about Jesus! Registration forms will again be available at church and online at the St. Stephen’s website, http://www.saintstephen.org/vacationbibleschool.cfm Registration will take place from 8:40 – 9:00 A.M. on Monday, July 27th, the first day of VBS. Opportunities to help with the operation of our VBS are also available. Here are a few:
- Donate snack items (see the suggested list that will be in the church entry;
- Help prepare and serve refreshments;
- Help with clean up after snack time;
- Help in the classrooms with projects;
- Pray that the Holy Spirit uses our VBS to bring more children and families to know and love Jesus our Savior.
Any questions about VBS or offers to help can be directed to any of the Pastors or to the Church Office (885-3309).
LUTHERAN TEENS We will be going to Six Flags on Wednesday, June 17th. The cost, which includes bus and your ticket, will be $42. A sign-up sheet is on the table in the entry of church. Please sign up by May 31st.
RESTORATION, RENOVATION, IMPROVEMENT OF OUR SANCTUARY The exterior phase of our restoration is nearing completion! As this letter heads for the post office the north and south windows are being put back, having been re-leaded and reframed. The balcony window should return shortly thereafter. The final bit of window work will be replacing the tower windows with simple plate glass with a film “decal” on the inside that is simply a picture of the old windows. From a distance and from the ground they should look like the old windows. The old tower windows are in such poor shape that they are not being repaired. Some painting will be done on the gutters and downspouts, and that should be the last of it. The Restoration Committee will soon meet with our architect to begin “brain storming” about interior restoration / renovation. It is planned that the Committee will host a couple informal information gathering and sharing sessions to help with formulation of an interior plan. We have one payment of about $50,000 to make yet for this phase of restoration. To this point to make our payments we have had to borrow $197,000 to add to $203,000 in gifts received for the Window / Restoration Fund since it was begun in the fall of 2013. We are currently paying interest on that borrowed money. Once we’ve made our final payment, all funds donated for Window/Restoration will be applied toward paying down the loan. Our hope is that as we see progress being made on restoring our Father’s house we will continue to offer our gifts and in the not too distant future be in a position to tackle the inside of the sanctuary.
DIVINE CALLS INTO PUBLIC MINISTRY OF THE GOSPEL Mid-May is always an exciting and anxious time at our Synod’s College of Ministry (Martin Luther College) and at our Seminary (Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary). Graduating students are offering themselves for service in the public ministry of Jesus’ Gospel. Graduates making themselves available for assignment to ministry are assigned to their first places of ministry by our Synod’s “Assignment Committee (the Conference of District Presidents). One St. Stephen’s member, Kendra Korth, graduates from Martin Luther College, though she is not at this time making herself available for assignment to ministry. Other Martin Luther College grads with St. Stephen’s connections are Ruth Wendland (Pastor and Louise Wendland’s youngest daughter, assigned to serve at Brooklyn Bridge Pre-School, Brooklyn, MN and Emilee Koltz, granddaughter of Ken & June Koltz, assigned to serve as Tutor at Luther Prep, Watertown. Jacob Jenswold, husband of Madelyn Scott Jenswold, received an assignment as a Vicar to Abiding Grace, Covington Georgia. May God bless their service!
St. Stephen’s Summer 2015 Newsletter © 2015 St. Stephen’s Ev. Lutheran Church and School, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.